HEARTS CONFIRM CITY`S NAYSMITH BID
By Graeme Bailey/Phil Gordon. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
HEARTS defender Gary Naysmith looks to be on the verge of a move to Coventry City, after the Edinburgh club confirmed they had received an offer from the Sky Blues.
Naysmith is currently on international duty with the Scottish national side, but he will travel straight to Highfield Road for talks with manager Gordon Strachan.
"We have received an offer from Coventry City," confirmed a Hearts spokesman. "At the moment there are one or two finer points to be discussed.
"But this is a fee that goes into millions and we are not in any financial position to reject this offer."
The 21-year-old full back has 18 months left to run on his current deal and he had rejected the latest offer of a new contract from the Tynecastle club, although Hearts boss Jim Jefferies has said that he does not blame the player for seeking a better deal.
"I wanted to keep Gary and the club made him an offer," said Jefferies. "Gary was not being greedy but we could not agree on terms, so it looks like he might move now because he will move on eventually."
Naysmith's agent, Jim McArthur, said on Wednesday that the player - who has spent all his career at Tynecastle - was reluctant to leave the Edinburgh club.
"Gary wanted to stay at Hearts until he got a bit older but he never got a decent offer," explained McArthur.
Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town had previously been linked with the defender, but Coventry have made their move as they look to bolster their back-line.
If Naysmith does complete his move then he will be the fifth Scottish international to leave Hearts in recent years following the sales of Allan Johnston, David Weir, Neil McCann and Paul Ritchie.
Meanwhile, Jefferies has accepted a nominal offer from Stockport County for midfielder Fitzroy Simpson, who will now talk to the Nationwide First Division side. Jamaican international Simpson, 30, joined last season from Portsmouth.